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Coronavirus Updates

A recent report from Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows just how easily and quickly SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, can spread.

In the May 12 report, researchers looked at information from a March 10 choir practice in Skagit County, Washington, which had 61 people in attendance, including one symptomatic person. After the group practice with just one symptomatic person, 52 of the 61 people in attendance had symptoms of COVID-19 (32 of them were confirmed cases and 20 were probable secondary COVID-19 cases). Of the 53 people who were ill, three people were hospitalized, and two people died.

The report noted that choir practice presents opportunities for transmission, such as sitting close to other choir members, sharing snacks and stacking chairs together at the end of practice. The researchers also note that singing itself can be an opportunity for transmission, through the emission of aerosols it causes, and that certain people called superemitters can release more aerosol particles during speech than others, which could contribute to cases of COVID-19 superspreading.

The data highlight how quickly SARS-CoV-2 can spread and the possibility of superemitters who can contribute to a COVID-19 superspreading event. The researchers recommend maintaining social distancing measures like staying at least six feet apart from others, not gathering in groups and wearing cloth face coverings in public where social distancing measures can be hard to maintain.

Read the full report.

In our latest HealthDay Now interview, Dr. Anton Porsteinsson, a principal investigator for the Biogen aducanumab trial, and Dr. Ken Lin, a primary care physician, discuss the controversial new Alzheimer's drug and whether it will provide any benefit to patients, despite its highly uncertain efficacy and steep cost.

Watch the in-depth discussion above, and see our past HealthDay Nows and other videos on our YouTube channel.

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In our latest HealthDay Now, Mabel Jong spoke with Dr. Lori Pierce, president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and a cancer radiation specialist at the University of Michigan.

Dr. Pierce shared important takeaways from the recently concluded 2021 ASCO annual meeting and discussed why equity was the chosen theme this year.

Watch the in-depth discussion above, and see our past HealthDay Nows and other videos on our YouTube channel.

In our latest HealthDay Now, Dr. Hina Talib, a pediatrician and adolescent health specialist at the Children's Hospital at Montefiore, debunks myths and common concerns parents may have about giving their children Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine, which was recently approved for use in children and teens ages 12 and up.

HealthDay Now's Mabel Jong also speaks with Alan Santee, a high school freshman from Massachusetts, about why he didn't hesitate to get vaccinated, and Ethan Lindenberger, a 20-year-old vaccine advocate from Ohio, about his experience having a mom who is anti-vaccine and how kids and parents can approach these conversations.

Watch the in-depth discussion above, and see our past HealthDay Nows and other videos on our YouTube channel.

Watch our latest HealthDay Now to hear about the state of mental health and why many people fear returning to their social and work lives.

HealthDay's Mabel Jong spoke to Dr. Vivian Pender, president of the American Psychiatric Association, and Sherry Amatenstein, a social worker and therapist who has been dealing with these anxieties herself.

Watch the in-depth discussion above, and see our past HealthDay Nows and other videos on our YouTube channel.

Watch our latest HealthDay Now for a preview of the American College of Physicians Annual Meeting 2021, covering topics like the alarming shortage of primary care physicians, bringing basic health delivery needs to rural residents, and why the ACP will focus on privacy concerns at its conference.

HealthDay Now's Mabel Jong speaks with Dr. Jacqueline Fincher, president of the American College of Physicians and an internist in a rural community in Georgia.

Watch the in-depth discussion above, and see our past HealthDay Nows and other videos on our YouTube channel.

Watch our latest HealthDay Now as we cover the latest on the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine investigation. An independent advisory panel to the CDC is waiting on additional information before making recommendations on the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine after reports about rare blood clots.

Mabel Jong from our liveblog team speaks with Lynn Bahta, a member of the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and a clinical expert for vaccines at the Minnesota Department of Health.

Watch the in-depth discussion above, and see our past HealthDay Nows and other videos on our YouTube channel.

Watch our latest HealthDay Now as we recap the highlights of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2021.

Mabel Jong from our liveblog team speaks with Dr. Antoni Ribas, former president of the American Association for Cancer Research and professor of medicine at UCLA, and Anna Plym, PhD, a postdoctoral research fellow at Brigham and Women's Hospital.

Watch the in-depth discussion above, and see our past HealthDay Nows and other videos on our YouTube channel.

Watch our latest HealthDay Now as we dive into the latest details on multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C).

Mabel Jong from our liveblog team speaks with Dr. Mary Beth Son, Program Director of Boston Children's Hospital's Rheumatology Program, and Brian Padla, father of James Padla, who has MIS-C.

Watch the in-depth discussion above, and see our past HealthDay Nows and other videos on our YouTube channel.


Watch our latest HealthDay Now as we debunk myths about the COVID-19 vaccines and talk about what the new CDC guidelines for vaccinated people mean.

Mabel Jong from our liveblog team speaks with Dr. Paul Offit, Director of the Vaccine Education Center and an attending physician in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and one of the physicians on the FDA Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, and Dr. Mercedes Carnethon, Vice Chair of Preventive Medicine at the Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine.

Watch the in-depth discussion above, and see our past HealthDay Nows and other videos on our YouTube channel.